Monday, September 24, 2007

Dangerous Ideas

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is speaking at Columbia University, today. Upon hearing that this was going to take place, my first reaction was: WHAT the *freaking heck*? Have they lost their Mother-*effing* minds... (etcetera, etcetera)

And now, that I'm writing and have the benefits of spell check and editing, my response is:

Why would an institution charged with molding and shaping minds, turning out future leaders, imparting wisdom and knowledge lend a platform to a man who is as morally backward as the President of Iran? Columbia University, as far as I understand, has a large body of Jewish students. How could they invite an anti-Semite who has called for Israel to “be wiped from the map” and who dismisses the Holocaust as a “fabricated legend” to speak to their student body? Why would they allow him to scatter his dangerous ideas among the fertile landscape of young adults still seeking their own truth. What if those dangerous ideas take root?

And then, two things happened. 1) I visited Chani’s blog where she put it right there in black and white: Are ideas dangerous? And 2) I watched the live video yahoo had up on their homepage -- As I write this, President Ahmadinejad is still speaking. He is, in fact, speaking of the importance of education and the freedom of speech “we are given in this country.” (Irony dripping, from the lips of a tyranical “president” who keeps the women of his country hidden beneath veils of decorum and mutes their ideas and denies them civil liberties under the guise of “honoring them as the mothers of Iran.” Women’s rights activists have been arrested in his country as recently as March of this year. Just this August, Iranian scholars and democratic thinkers were imprisoned for their dissenting views of the current government and allegedly initiating a US backed velvet revolution. Children have been publicly executed in his country as criminals, within the last few months.)

A moment please. I’ve become entranced by the soothing (female, I might add) translator.

Ok, so, The interview and Q & A is worth the 90 minutes, however if you don’t have the attention span or the constitution for the ramblings of a megalomaniac, at least watch the tongue lashing delivered by the President of Columbia University. It wasn’t very diplomatic in nature at times, and may have cost him some propriety points, but it’s fun to watch someone (anyone) lay into a monstrous dictator.

Unfortunately, His Most High Majesty, wasn’t as easily dismissed as an idiot, as I’d hoped. (Don’t get me wrong. He’s an idiot. But evidently, he has a couple of cabinet members that keep him straight.) He answered most questions with questions....which, I think, is one of the ten most annoying social behaviors known to man. People have been imprisoned in his country for lesser offenses... However, he made a couple of confusing, but valid points. For instance, Question #2 during the Q/A: Why is your govt. providing aid to known terrorist organizations?
His Most High Excellency: “I want to pose a question.” Emily rolling eyes. “If someone explodes bombs...kills your president and members of Congress... how would you treat them? It’s clear. You would call them terrorists.” “...Iran is a victim of terrorism. 26 years ago the president and prime minister lost their lives in terrorist bombs,...” more examples of terrorism. “That same terrorist organization is supported and secured by US...We need to address the root causes of terrorism and eradicate those causes.... We are a cultured nation, we don’t need to resort to terrorism.”
While, he never actually answered the question, he did refer to the US’s horrendous foreign policy and how it has jumped up to bite us in the ass over and over again.

Ok. I am boring MYSELf with this post. If you’re still reading, bless you. If not, me neither.

In closing, *hallelujah*, I’m glad Columbia invited him to speak. I think for the most part, he hung himself with the microphone wire. (“In Iran, we do not have homosexuals like you do in your country. We do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who told you that we do .” BWAHAHAHA.) ahem.

Believe it or not, President Bush may have said the most intelligent thing about the forum, “Ahmadenijad’s appearance at Columbia speaks volumes about really the greatness of America."

This way-out, evil, manipulative, scary smart, ignorant, dumbass of a dictator came to an Ivy League college with US blood on his hands and spoke freely to a room of students, scholars, academics, and free press under the protection of our rights to free speech, and no one even attempted to assassinate him.


Jen M. said...

No gays in Iran? Now that's classic.


painted maypole said...

very interesting post.

Gay phenomenon, eh?

and yes, the US has certainly behaved as terrorists (and I'm not talking distant past here!)

Hannah said...

I also rolled on the floor laughing at the whole "but who told you we have homosexuals in Iran? we don't have that phenomenon" - really, he just demonstrated his own ignorance, I would say. But I agree that it was a great demonstration of the principles of free speech. Of course the cynical me wonders about the Columbia president's motives - he got some mighty good press out of this whole thing - but whatever, I suppose it's vastly satisfying to be able to look in the mirror and say you called out a dictator on international television.

Christine said...

what a fool (him not you!)

he had a right to speak, but he is just so. . .

anyway--great post. I have to go listen to the columbia president speech now

Christine said...

hmmm. . .ok in some ways he made sense, this guys is a gross dictator, but it did seem weird to invite him then lay into him. lots of contradictions.

but that is beauty of free speech i guess. . .

furrow said...

What's interesting is how it's being spun in Iran. (I'm totally swiping this from NPR). Supporters are saying "he is popular with American college students" (ha!) and the opposition in Iran is saying "This is what is great about America: the government and much of the public was very opposed to his visit, but universities are independent enough to bring him anyway."

thailandchani said...

I always suspect that the truth is somewhere in the middle of the propagandizing done by both sides.



Julie Pippert said...

I'm not sure what I think (conclude) overall but I (choke gag) agree with Bush about having him speak at Columbia (based solely on that one quote and extending no further than that <---caveat I really mean just as I say it).

Like Chani, I figure most truth is somewhere in between, you add 1 and 1 and get something near 2. Also some people really believe things they say, as untrue as they seem to us. Which begs a question...

Using My Words